We played around with a Kinect as a way to more naturally interact with the quadrotors in the Flying Machine Arena and made a short video of the result. Since there is a bit of saturation of Kinect-ish videos out there, we tried to include a short explanation of how this demo works. You can find more info about the Flying Machine Arena here.


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  • Developer
    Wow, Now I want padded a motion capture lab to test my code !
  • we had a script for this video, and every time Armin (the guy in the video) took it out, naturally, holding it with both of his hands, our code would see that as a clap and would auto-land the quad :-)
  • clap-n-land..... amazing!!
  • Thanks guys. Some clarifications:

    - yes we use the motion capture system to control the vehicle. the vehicle isn't aware of it's position, or for that matter, of it's attitude (*). it is aware of it's angular rates and runs an onboard feedback loop for that

    - it's so damn stable: no special sauce, but all of the loops/subsystems are tuned quite well. of course having a mm-precision motion capture system is quite crucial, but so is accurately compensating for time delays and knowing your system.

    - ascending technologies: we just use their frame, motors and motor controllers. the rest we replaced with our own. it's not that special or anything, but we wanted a very specific gyro and full control over the filtering/control circuits/code.


    * - some exceptions apply :-)

  • Wow, it's so stable! It even did a loop! Looks very excited.
  • Developer
    beautiful and cool to see sergei posting here.  Those flips are incredibly tight...it barely loses any altitude!
  • i've seen one of these ascending quadrotors today, unbeatable precise movement!
  • Gosh, that's awesome then!
  • no way!

    the cameras are only for verification of the orientation algorythms.

    you should see them live ;-)

    just more advanced as what you get here.

  • Hai Tran: It doesn't depend on an IMU. There are dots on the drone and IR cameras around. Precise position and angle is then sent to the quad.

    Well, they should have tuned their platform a lot too.
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